Five years ago, Supervisor Bill Campbell and the Orange County Employees Association recognized two things: the importance of providing quality health care coverage for retired county employees and the rising cost of doing so. So, together, we addressed these issues head-on. Through the collective bargaining process, OCEA and the county arrived at an agreement that reduced the county’s unfunded liability for retiree medical benefits by $815 million while continuing to ensure our employees would receive adequate care in their most vulnerable years.
It was a rare sight. A group of county supervisors and labor leaders sitting across the table from each other at a public meeting having a calm discussion, even offering each other complements. There was no shouting, no finger pointing and even the posturing was kept to a relative minimum.
Another mail piece dropped yesterday from Orange County Employees Association regarding Shawn Nelson’s hide and seek on his criminal defense business. This time the hit features Crime Victims United and their take on what Shawn Nelson’s law practice has done and how he’s trying to hide the truth.
Nelson’s law firm focuses on ambulance chasing and criminal defense. He’s been trying to distance himself from the criminal defense work that he and his firm perform. Because of his work in criminal defense, Nelson should know you can run, but you can never hide.
Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas has opened investigation into how Assessor Webster Guillory has implemented a $20 million computer system and whether he is properly collecting taxes on businesses using government property.
Well, as the headline states, I am not really surprised. The county has a pattern of contracting out projects and then having managers and directors cover up the failures to perform. This just happens to be a project run by a comfortable elected official who has the same attitude as the County IT Director. Cover it up and hope no one notices.
Unions are not all-powerful engines of rapacity. County workers have been struggling with layoffs and furloughs in the county, courts and cities. Unions and their members are addressing state and local government issues responsibly.